An Update on What You Need to Know About Pathways


An Update on What You Need to Know About Pathways

February 19, 2024

Welcome to the February 2024 edition of our Monthly Insight Series, featuring key findings from our recent column in the Journal of Clinical Pathways. The column was the first in a series on oncologists' awareness and use of pathways.

Digital graphic of a businessman holding a holographic compass in his palm.

Oncology clinical pathways and clinical decision support (CDS) tools have been part of the oncology landscape in one form or another for many years. Pathways are increasingly common and can assist providers in navigating the increasingly complex set of treatment selections.

Our recent column highlights HMP Market Access Insights’ (MAI) research on oncologists’ awarenesses of pathways and the factors driving adoption. Our 2023 Oncology Clinical Pathways study focused on quantifying the influence and impact pathways have on oncologists’ treatment decisions by conducting a unique two-arm study with 132 oncologists using advanced conjoint analysis. Key findings include: 

  • Awareness of pathways is highest among oncologists practicing in the most sophisticated organizations that have internally implemented a pathway program. The figure below illustrates a higher level of awareness among community oncology practices in two large and sophisticated network aggregators compared to all other practices.
Chart 1.


  • Several functional and process attributes encourage or discourage oncologists’ use of pathways. 
    • Attributes that encourage use: Understanding the pathway development process and easy access to pathway treatment recommendations.
    • Attributes that discourage use: Poor access to pathway treatment recommendations or workflow disruptions and lack of consistent pathway adherence enforcement.
  • While National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommendations continue to be highly influential, physicians using internal pathway programs tend to refer to NCCN less frequently than physicians subject to payer pathways. 
Chart 2.


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